Restaurant Recs: Mac-Groveland, St. Paul

Grand Avenue’s west end is a diner’s delight

Turkish coffee and tiramisu from Shish in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Turkish coffee and tiramisu at Shish

photo by blhphotography – flickr

Jason: Near the University of St. Thomas and Macalester, you’ll find historic homes and the nervous energy of college students. Grand Avenue’s west end has become especially exciting, even for those of us who didn’t go to those colleges…and just love to eat.

Shish: Shish might be the most authentic, home-style Greek and Mediterranean food in the Twin Cities. Everything but the delicious gyro comes from a local farm and is kosher. Try the lamb and kefta kebabs, curries, and breakfast, too. 1668 Grand Ave.

St. Paul Cheese Shop: Get the Surprise! sandwich here. For $10, you get whatever they decide to make. And it’ll be great: the salami and sopressata here is top-notch, as are all the house-made mustards, chutneys, and relishes. 1573 Grand Ave.

Joy: I lived in this neighborhood in the days of ’90s St. Paul eatery Table of Contents, made amazing friends  at Macalester, and lived in a  fourplex when my son was born. This walkable area is filled with great food options.

Stewart’s: This quintessential neighborhood restaurant has a phenomenal cheeseburger, addictive Korean-spiced fries, and a full bar. Brunch has some of the best eggs Benedict in town. 128 Cleveland Ave. N.

Breadsmith: My life would not be the same without this shop’s babka. Get it as a roll or a full loaf for treats or breakfast. There are tables for snacking on the spot, and they offer free samples if you’re having a hard time deciding between brownies, banana bread, or cranberry scones. 1579 Grand Ave.